Name That Trauma:: Enzo S. on a Mental Patient’s Killer Dolls & an Electric-Centric Psycho


Two friends recently challenged me to identify two different horror movies that they saw ages ago as kids and God damn, I was completely stumped. Any chance you fine folks can crack these mysteries? All I’ve got to work with is some scraps of information:

* The first horror movie would have been an eighties flick available as a VHS rental. The story featured a crazed mental patient who built lots of killer dolls. The dolls were made of flesh-colored clay or plastic (like Barbie and Ken) and one of them was armed with a scalpel. The dolls were done through stop-motion animation.

* The second horror movie would have been a late eighties/early nineties VHS title. The plot featured a serial killer who could either turn himself into electricity or possess machines (or both). The movie featured a scene in which the killer hides inside of a light bulb.


Enzo S.

UNK SEZ: Thank you for writing in, Enzo! I hope I have your answers!

The first film you mentioned is probably the Amicus anthology ASYLUM. It’s from 1972 but had a theatrical rerelease in the states in the early eighties as HOUSE OF CRAZIES. There were at least two VHS editions, one used the original poster art and the “ASYLUM” title and the other had a more modern look and went by ASYLUM: “The House of Crazies”.

ASYLUM’s tales are all based on stories by ROBERT BLOCK. The one your friend should be interested in is called “Mannikins of Horror,” it very much fits your pal’s description. Here it is on YouTube…

This very same story though was used for an episode of the horror series MONSTERS so that could very well be what they are thinking of too. Luckily that also is on YouTube…

The second film you mentioned, I would think is WES CRAVEN’s SHOCKER from 1989. That definitely involves a killer who has electric-centric powers. I don’t remember him hiding inside a light bulb but I wouldn’t put it past the guy. That one seems almost too easy to be correct so if any of our readers know of any other titles that fit the description, please let us know! Hmmmm, wait a minute, I suppose 1993’s GHOST IN THE MACHINE might fit just as well… Here are both trailers just in case…

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8 years ago

The first one makes me think of PUPPET MASTER (1989), because there’s a puppet called “Blade,” who utilizes a razor. Here’s a link to the trailer:

The second one is definitely SHOCKER…

Drew Bludd
Drew Bludd
8 years ago

Another satisfied customer?

Antaeus Feldspar
Antaeus Feldspar
8 years ago

I can’t get their site to load at the moment, but “Asylum” might be still available to watch at , which is where I saw it. I have to say, though, that I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the flick the OP’s friend had in mind: the doll content was rather low, came only at the end, and wasn’t done with stop-motion at all.

I wonder if “The Deadly Doll’s House of Horror Nonsense” would be a good place to look for a matching movie…

7 years ago

hi there
i am the friend of enzo s who was looking for what was mannikins of horror,thanks to enzo for starting the thread and the other who gave the info…
the you tube link expired but found it under youtube,they have the whole tv series that mannikins of horror was on. really brought me back,i saw it at our grandmas house when we would stay over there.grandma had a darkside and she would put on horror movies at night.Her house was dark and creepy and she played a vibraphone,so it was like she was living a creepshow like life,thanks big grammie for teaching me the beauty of the macabre!